Green Mortgages Are On The Increase

Ireland has begun introducing it's first equity release mortgages which will allow homeowners to borrow money so that they can introduce new green technology into their homes. This retrofitting of their homes has recently been launched in February and will enable homeowners to save money and energy by installing these eco friendly technologies within their homes.

Some Irish banks are launching these schemes. This may come as a surprise to some people due to the fact that Ireland suffered badly in the economic meltdown but it shows that green retrofitting is beginning to become aware in Ireland. It also points towards lenders taking green issues seriously and is wiling to spend money to eventually make it back.

Many property prices in Ireland are continuing to drop but the banks are recognizing that if you spend money to save energy in your home then it will reinforce and increase your property's value. The logic behind the scheme is easily explained due to the spiraling costs of gas, oil and electricity on a monthly basis in the UK and Ireland. Heating your home has never been as expensive as it is today and prices seem to keep going up and up.

How does it work?

In Ireland, as long as you have sufficient equity in your home and the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland has approved your home suitable for a retrofit grant then you qualify; it is as simple as that. It is paid to those undertakings the improvements, this could be anything from extra insulation in your roof or your walls. It also covers a more efficient boiler being installed than the current one in your home. Solar panels heating systems, geothermal heat pumps or wood chip and pellet burners are also classed as being part of an eco retrofit.

In Ireland customers can borrow anything from 5,000 Euros up to a possible 90% of the value of your home. Repayments can be anything from five years up to a possible 30 years. The benefits of this product is that when you combine the retrofit grant from the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland with a green equity release loan the customer pays little upfront for the improvements to their home but they notice the savings on their energy bills immediately. However due to the frontloaded interest repayments you do have to make payments straight away to the bank.

In the UK there are also some mortgage lenders who are offering their clients “green mortgages”.

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Stone Homes – The Environmentally Friendly and Aesthetic Habitat

Stone houses are environment friendly structures that display an aesthetic sense of its owner. Easily available, stone can be considered as one of the most durable construction materials with a wide range of texture options.

In ancient times, various civilizations made use of stone to build their homes. This was because stone was probably the only available building material excluding mud and trees. Even in the modern era, eco-friendly homes have gained imminence popularity because of their magnificent properties. Houses constructed with the help of stones are capable enough to resist fire, wind, water as well as various insects including termites.

Some stone houses provide a natural, unique appearance that reminds one of the European castles.

To avail the maximum benefits of these artistic constructions, it is suggested to use durable stones such as granite and avoid stones the wear down over time, such as limestone. Furthermore, purchasing of previously chopped stone is a wiser alternate to escape from the time consuming and laborious phase of stone cutting. However, the top suited stone for home construction is one, which is available in the relevant local area so that transportation does not become an issue.

Sustainability and durability adds an extra spark to the elegance of these stone homes without costing much for maintenance and care. There are many historical examples to speak about sustainability of simple yet graceful stone homes where they have witnessed many centuries.

Pyramids, made up of stone, attributed to be one of the beautiful creators, across the world, are best examples to display stone's strength. Various historical stone buildings, especially constructed following the European-style stone houses have been around for thousands years and will probably remain the same for centuries.

Beside environmentally friendly capabilities, stone homes also deserve a round of applause for their natural beauty that does not demand any painting or siding. In addition, the stone homes are comfortable nests and if constructed with passive solar design, they have ability to store heat within its walls. The absorbed heat is likely to radiate through the house, all night, creating a cozy and warm environment for the users. Above all stone homes are easy to clean and can be washed with simple water.

Proper planning as well as availability of a construction expert plays an important role to maximize stone home benefits. Furthermore, it is crucial to choose a quality stone along with proper technique to assemble them. It can be seriously harmful to choose an inferior quality stone that is not strong enough to support the required weight.

In spite of an array of benefits, the stone home owner also faces some difficulties with them. Customization is one such issue. For older homes, replacement of stones may present a particular challenge.

Some expensive stones, commonly used for flooring, including tiles may be cold and very hard under foot. It's not recommended to use softer stones because they are prone to strains, moisture and scratches.

All in all, however, the owners of stone homes are generally happy with the strength, durability, security, energy savings, environmental soundness and natural beauty of these structures.

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Purchasing Property in Paddington

Paddington is located in the charming area of ​​London W2 and offers exciting and excellent residential and commercial opportunities. Paddington is well known for its railway station which acts as a major National Rail and London Underground station complex and also has connections to London Heathrow Airport. Paddington has also been placed on the map for its famous regeneration project – Paddington Waterside development, which involves several schemes providing and promoting residential, commercial, leisure, retail and health facilities.

When it comes to real estate, Paddington is now a hotspot. Residential options include fine Georgian homes, apartments and studio flats, in addition to the new housing options offered by the Paddington Waterside development project. The living facilities in Paddington are top notch – with schools, shops, dining options and plenty of leisure activities in close proximacy. In addition, the area is blessed with the distinguished St Mary's Hospital, which offers general hospital and specialist services. Attractions such as Little Venice, Camden Lock and London Zoo are also located close by, while Sheldon Square – a one stop spot for bars, restaurants, retail shops and offices is within Paddington itself. Given all these living facilities, Paddington is a hotspot when it comes to purchasing property and real estate.

Before embarking on purchasing property, it is wise to consult the services of estate agents in Paddington. There are several excellent estate agents available in the area, that choosing the right one is quite a tough task! Here are a few tips to help narrow down your choices when it comes to selecting estate agents in Paddington.

Spend some time researching and monitoring which agents are selling property in Paddington – this can be done by looking in your local newspaper, driving around the area and by talking to friends, family members and neighbors as well as searching on the internet. It always helps have a few options instead of one so that you will be able to pick the best after you have spoken to them. Call their offices, talk to the staff and see if you are comfortable with how they approach your queries. Find out if the estate agent has a sound local knowledge and knowledge of comparable properties in the community. Check to see how experienced the estate agent is, if they are members of a trade body and if they will treat you as a special customer, looking into your individual needs.

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What Is BIPV?

Building integrated PV uses photovoltaic materials to take the place of conventional materials that would normally be used to cover a building's roof and walls. The solar PV modules used in BIPV do not just act as technical components for generating electricity. They also perform as weatherproof construction materials and conveniently integrate into the building envelope.

Solar PV Design

Solar PV modules offer powerful potential to architects and engineers. When the decision is made to integrate solar PV into the building, the whole design process must take account of it. The inclusion of PV modules influences the building's orientation, footprint, layout and form and BIPV will have a significant impact on the building fabric.

Integrated PV

As well as generating electricity, an important benefit of building integrated solar PV is that some of its capital cost will be offset by reducing the amount spent on construction materials that would ordinarily have been used in traditional buildings.

PV Orientation

The orientation of the building is an important factor, as only the south facing roof and walls will be suitable for solar PV integration. In the northern hemisphere, the sun will not reach the north facing walls of a building so the visual treatment of these non-solar PV areas must be considered separately.

PV Electricity Demand

Building integrated PV must be considered as an essential part of the energy strategy of the building. The artificial heating and lighting demand must be minimized and the, fixed and portable, electrical equipment must operate as efficiently as possible. The building's total electricity demand must be calculated to establish accurately the area of ​​the building's surface that will absolutely be covered with photovoltaic modules. Where electricity is generated in-house, for use in the host building, there is the underwriting benefit that the transmission and distribution losses will be negligible.

BIPV Architecture

Building integrated PV presents architects with a host of opportunities to integrate new materials, colors, textures and shapes onto the exteriors of their buildings. A large variety of standard and special solar PV modules are prefabricated for the building integrated PV market.

Small Roof Integrated PV

Solar tiles are a much neater alternative to 'bolt on' solar panels for the pitched roofs of houses and small commercial buildings. Solar PV roof tiles are manufactured to the same modular size as large format roof tiles so that they can be integrated into a newly constructed roof or into an existing roof when the roof covering is being replaced.

Large Roof Integrated PV

Waterproof solar PV roofing membrane is available for medium and large commercial and industrial roofs. This high performance roofing solution can be used on new or replacement roofs. It is lightweight, flexible and offers reliable weather protection while, at the same time, converting the sun's energy into electricity.

PV Rainscreen Cladding

Rainscreen cladding is an established building façade system. It consist of a metal sub-frame in-filled with cladding panels, typically of bricks, brick tiles, terra cotta tiles or ceramic tiles. A variety of solar photovoltaic infill panels, in the form of transparent, semi-transparent or opaque glass, can be incorporated into a rainscreen grid.

PV Glass Curtain Walling

Curtain walling is a very popular, non structural, facade treatment used in commercial building design. It is very stylish, has modern clean lines and is aesthetically pleasing. Curtain walling systems are available with solar PV cells encapsulated between panels of toughened glass. The glass can be opaque or transparent and double or triple glazed with the integrated solar cells.

PV Atria and Canopies

Atria and canopies are horizontal or sloping surfaces where photovoltaic modules can be applied. Solar PV cells can be incorporated into patent glazing over atria and canopies. The PV integration is visible from the inside of the building and the proportion of opaque can be adjusted to provide transparent, semi-transparent or opaque sun shading.

Solar PV Architecture

Solar energy is set to play an increasing role in generating the form and affecting the appearance of modern buildings. As more architects gain experience in incorporating photovoltaic systems into the built environment, this relatively new technology will blend almost invisibly into the worlds urban and rural landscapes.

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What Is a Passive House?

In passive house design, the cost savings that result from dispensing with the conventional heating system can be used to pay for the upgrading of the building envelope and provide renewable energy heating. If you are planning to build your own passive house then it is essential that you know as much as possible about passive house design. Passive homes are very well insulated, essentially airtight, buildings which minimize energy loss and improve occupant comfort. Passive house design considers the entire life-cycle of the building and uses a variety of 'passive' building solutions to eliminate conventional 'active' technologies that consume wasteful fossil fuels.

Passive Solar Design

Passive solar design is specifically used to exploit free energy from the sun, to provide warmth. A passive house is orientated so that large south facing windows absorb energy from the sun. The rooms are laid out so that the solar heat is distributed from these windows through the interior of the home. The process of capturing the solar energy is considered to be 'passive', since the building does not generate the energy itself. The heat energy comes from a natural source and is not generated exclusively by artificial means.

Provide Thermal Mass

Passive house buildings can be constructed from either dense or lightweight materials. In the case of lightweight construction, like timber frame, some internal thermal mass is incorporated. Thermal mass allows dense construction materials, typically concrete, stone, brick or tile, to store the free heat. During the day, when external temperatures are highest, a large thermal mass inside the insulated envelope will absorb the sun's heat. When the external temperature cools down in the evening, the thermal mass will naturally radiate that absorbed heat throughout the rooms.

Install Super Insulation

Insulating the building envelope is one of the most important passive house measures as it has the greatest impact on energy expenditure. In the average house, well considered and expertly installed insulation can reduce the amount of heat lost through the building envelope, by at least half. In addition, a high standard of thermal insulation will significantly improve thermal comfort for the building occupants.

Make the Building Airtight

Effective airtightness is another important contributor to passive house design. Warm air leaking from the building is a major cause of heat loss, which results in wasted energy. Improving the building's airtightness reduces the uncontrolled air flow through gaps and cracks in the building fabric and must be addressed by the designer early in the planning process.

Fit Triple Glazed Windows

High performance windows are a key contributor to the overall efficiency of the building envelope, as they are manufactured to deliver high thermal values. In passive house buildings, it is usual to combine triple-pane insulated glazing, low emissivity (low-E) glass and argon or krypton filled air gaps. Expertly designed and installed triple glazed windows will significantly reduce energy usage and improve occupant comfort.

Make Use of Waste Heat

In addition to using passive solar heating, passive homes make use of the waste heat from lighting, domestic appliances like refrigerators and washing machines, and the body-heat from the occupants of the building.

Install Heat Recovery Ventilation

Heat recovery ventilation is the process of replacing heat energy contained in the air which is extracted from a house and transferring it to the incoming replacement air. This system can combine either a central extract system or individual room fans. Although this ventilation method is an 'active' technology, using a small amount of electricity, it is considered to be a worthy contributor to energy saving. It provides the building with essential fresh air, improvements occupant comfort and preserves the building's heat.

Fit Renewable Energy Heating

An underlining objective of solar passive design is the desire to dispense with conventional heating systems altogether. It is typically necessary to provide some supplementary space heating to maintain comfortable conditions on particularly cold winter days. Often this can be achieved via the low volume heat recovery ventilation system that is provided to maintain air quality. As an alternative to this, a renewable energy technology like a wood burning stove, solar heating, air source heat pumps or ground source heat pumps, may be preferred.

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So What Is a Passivhaus Exactly?

Passivhaus is a term we are all likely to hear more often as we become ever more focused on energy efficiency. As you may have guessed from the spelling Passivehaus has its origins in Germany being part of the countries building standards. Any house meeting the standard will have been built to take advantage of the sun's heat and any other freely available source – including people, household appliances and regular fresh-air. One of the main factors which help to reduce the need for traditional heating is super high degrees of insulation as well as air tight windows and doors. The entire fabric of the house, including floors and walls, work by storing heat to help maintain warmth in winter. The addition of Solar panels and heat pumps may also play a part in supplying efficient forms of heat.

The main aim of a Passive House is to have low impact on the environment and as such will usually require around 75% less heating than a regular home. Although build costs can be up to 8% greater than a normal build the big benefit is obviously the savings the homeowner can make on fuel bills. On top of this the owner can also be fairly smug about their carbon output.

Air quality is typically controlled through mechanical means and heat recovery systems. For anyone who loves to be warm this is undeniably the house for you as temperatures are maintained at a constant level. Dust and pollen particles are filtrated out of the air which is an added bonus to anyone who suffers from related allergies.

Adhering to the standards can be tough. Anyone keen on building a Passive House will need to consider the design and layout from the beginning. Planning permission will need to allow for large south facing windows and ventilation etc, so the right plot of land is essential. Consideration should also be given to internal lighting, appliances and any other energy demanding equipment you intend using in the house. When choosing an architect look for someone who understands the Passivhaus Planning Package (PHPP). This will enable the architect to gauge energy performance at the design phase. Until you will need to have the house certified by the Passivhaus Institute, the BRE or the Scottish Passive House Center so getting the design right is essential.

There's a lot to go because before you sell up and call in the removals company. Ignoring extra build costs, the Passive House philosophy has to be the logical position for all new home builders to aspire. Once you've considered the long term benefits, especially in such a windblown island as the UK, to build anything less is to build a house which effectively leaks heat. The Passive House is almost the exact opposite to a heating leaking house. By concentrating on minimizing heat loss the need to consistently pump more heat into the house is actually eliminated. Granted, all those tight fitting doors and windows and super efficient insulation do not come cheap, but it's exciting to think that technology can now deliver a much smarter home as well a more comfortable one.

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Work Together for a Future Eco-Friendly Office!

Having an eco-friendly office can be very simple. It will ever bring great savings for any company as it will cut down on waste and the conservation of resources will cut down on office expenses. This process does require teamwork. The implementation of “green” ideas provided by some federal institutions and eco-friendly advocates can be applied to most companies work practices. The following are some helpful ideas to bring an eco-friendly office into any company's future!

Power Conservation

Form a habit of turning off any equipment that is not being used. For instance, shutting down computers when they are not in use will eventually reduce the energy consumption of a business by up to 25 percent; doing this at the end of each work day will save an additional 50 percent. Turning off equipment can be easily accomplished by plugging all desk equipment into one power strip so that all devices can be turned off when leaving the area. With one device, all of the equipment that is plugged into that strip can be turned off.

Paper Conservation

Employees should be encouraged to communicate with e-mail and read the messages on the screen, printing only important messages. Utilize both sides of the paper when printing if possible and use paper with a high recycle content.

Reduce paper waste by using a fax cover sheet only when necessary; send important documents directly from the computer whenever possible to eliminate the necessity to print a hard copy.

Eliminate paper files by converting them into electronic files; this will reduce storage space, and make it easier to search for a document on the computer. This will surely save a large amount of time than searching for a document in a filing cabinet.

Equipment Upgrades

If the budget allows, upgrading old equipment to newer models will increase energy efficiency. Replace old CRT monitors with LCD or LED monitors that are energy efficient and save on desk space.

A copier consumes more energy than any other piece of office equipment. Upgrading to a copier with duplexing capabilities and printing on both sides of the paper whenever possible will help cut down on energy usage as well as the usage of paper.

Water Conservation

Be sure to shut off faucets strictly and not leave any dripping. So much water is wasted this way that as little as one drop per second could add up to as much as 2,642 gallons per year.

Removal toilet dams can be installed in the toilet water reservoirs that will replace about four liters of water every time the water release valve is open. Placing one or two plastic containers filled with stones in the tank will allow for a huge reduction in water usage per year as well.

Buy Locally

Whenever possible, search for products and services that are more “green” within the local community, since supplies from a provider that is a significant distance away will use more energy in transporting the product.

Before replacing any office items, be sure to initially consider if repairs can be done. When planning to purchase new furniture, see if the existing furniture can be refurbished; that would be less expensive than buying new.

Implementing an eco-friendly office should be done gradually so that it does not have too much of an effect on normal employee routines. Instead, small changes such as a reduction in the amount of power, water, paper, and other resources being consumed can really make an immediate difference in company expenses. Then working together to have an eco-friendly office can be in every company's future!

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12 Tips to Sell Your Home Faster – Go Green!

These days, it sees as if everyone is growing more concerned with protecting the environment and going green; especially home buyers. Because of all the great benefits of owning a green home, there is an increasing demand for eco-friendly, green friendly homes in the housing market. According to a recent survey constructed by McGraw-Hill, “70 percent of buyers are either more or much more inclined to purchase a green home over a conventional home in down housing market.”

The benefits of owning a green home are innumerable: green homes are safer for your health, much cheaper and easier to maintain, and better for the environment. Buyers are looking to make that switch to gain peace of mind, and to drastically cut utility expenses.

How can a green home benefit the home seller? Being able to state your home is eco-friendly is a huge draw for buyers, giving your home a leading edge in the tough housing market competition. Buyers are also willing to pay more for a home with energy saving additions; the Earth Advantage Institute has determined that homes with third-party environmental certificates (such as a LEED certification) sell for 30 percent more than conventional homes without such ratings.

Avoid getting stuck in the stagnant housing market! If you want to sell your home faster, consider making these green changes:

Home solar panels are able to convert thermal energy that is produced courtesy of the sun, into real electricity. Solar electricity can be used to power anything in your home from your TV to your kitchen appliances. Although the investment is expensive, according to a study by the National Bureau of Economic Research, solar panels can potentially boost home sale prices by 3 to 4 percent.

Lighting accounts for 20% of all home energy use. Compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFL's) use 75% less energy than traditional light bulbs. Replace old light bulbs in permanent fixtures to add value and boost your homes efficiency.

To lower heating and cooling bills, buyers look for walls and roofs that have adequate insulation. Uninsulated walls can lose up to 33% of a homes heat, drastically increasing energy costs. For bonus points, consider insulation made out of alternative materials, such as Cellulose, which is mostly made out of recycled papers.

Check for air leaks and apply new caulking and weather stripping around doors and windows where necessary. This will not only improve your homes appearance, but will also lower heating and cooling costs.

If your home has single-pane windows, consider replacing them with double-pane windows to reduce heating and cooling costs up to 25%.

Typical household paint may contain upwards of 300 known toxic chemicals (half of which have been linked to cancer) and a total of more than 10,000 total chemicals. These toxic emissions linger in the air for years after any paint job is complete. Volatile Organic Compounds are the worst offenders in the paint chemical category. VOC-free paint is free of the noxious odors that are usually associated with painting; resulting in safer, healthy air quality.

Not only for their beauty, eco-friendly buyers are opting towards bamboo flooring and cabinets also for the endless sustainability. Hardwood trees can take up to 80 years to reach the height and density large enough to harvest, whereas bamboo reaches its maximum height in less than a year, and becomes dense enough to harvest within four to six years. Like a grass, bamboo quickly regenerates and can be cut without harming the plant.

The kitchen can make or break a home sale, especially if the appliances are outdated. Besides the aesthetic appeal, modern appliances have a distinct advantage: energy efficiency. Energy efficient appliances that hold an Energy Star label have been found to use up to 50% less energy and water than older, standard models.

In order to obtain maximum water preservation, replace your old toilet with a dual-stage flush toilet. Stage one, a low volume half flush, is for liquid wast. Stage two performances a full tank flush to wash away solid waste.

According to the EPA, letting your faucet run for five minutes uses as much energy as it takes to keep a 60-watt light bulb lit for 14 hours. By installing low-flow shower heads and faucets, water consumption associated with bathing will decrease by up to 70%, and you'll also use less energy heating up the water.

To add to your homes curb attractive, plant native and drought resistant plants that require less water and maintenance.

Even if your home already has a heating and cooling system, ceiling fans can maximize its effectiveness. In the summer, they can pull the warmer air up and away, and in the winter, push warmer air down.

For more information on selling or converting your eco-friendly home, contact your real estate agent and visit US Green Building Council for specific guidelines and resources.

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Green Roof Benefits

Progressive modern times and advances in home building technology and materials have shifted attention to the many advantages of having a green roof installed on your home. Why should homeowners consider this alternative to regular roofing? Read on to find out the many benefits of having a green roof for your home.

There are many beneficial relationships for the environment and the home owners when it comes to installing a green roof, or a vegetative roof. Ecologically, working with nature instead of against it is always a better option. The developmental impacts of construction and building could be reduced through the natural design of a vegetative roof. In urban environments where concrete covers almost every ground area, there is not much nature left in the environment, or any porous surface left. Green Roofs increase and help restore the ecological settings of an urban open space, especially in dens communities. The greater the roof space, the greater the ecological advantage. This is due to the innate nature of a green roof to act as an effective storm water management system.

The loss of nature and green spaces in our urban living environments can be significantly reduced if more and more buildings and homes install green roofs. Nearly any horizontal surface, like roofs can be transformed into a vegetated roof, which can be used to grow many lucrative plants. It's like having your own self sufficient garden on your own roof!

There are many economic gains in installing rooftop gardens. Investing in this type of roof will reap many biological benefits, not to mention a more durable, energy saving, better insulated, and sustainable building materials being utilized. On a daily basis, the area on top of your roof was being wasted and unused, whereas a green roof opens up the space into a more livable, breathable, usable environment and space.

Psychologically, humans have the tendency to perform at peak mental capacities when surrounded by natural beauty and diversity, and being surrounded or exposed to natural landscapes and gardens. Tending to an intensive rooftop gardens has the power of calming and de-stressing, and also acts as a leisure activity. Incorporating ecological design into our homes creates a more aesthetically pleasing space and provides greater visual appeal.

Insurance companies also offer insurance rate reductions, some companies up to 33% for installing green roofs. The promotion of green roofing systems and green building technologies has never been so prevalent and researched, with new strides in sustainable building, there are many incentives to alternative green building practices, of which can save you money on your home insurance plan, increase your health , save you money, and donate to a healthy green environment. The green industry is well on its way, and the day decades cities adopt green roof building practices , will have the greatest environmental impact. Hong Kong and Vancouver have already greatly explored this alternative, and soon major cities will follow suit. More resilient and sustainable roofing technologies will be the norm soon.

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Invest in Real Estate the Smart Way

Many people think of real estate as a gamble, but a necessary thing to do in India. People usually turn towards real estate agents and agencies like landlord India who will help you in your endeavors to find a perfect home of your dreams! But extremely, it is you who has to shell out the necessary money and make a smart decision. For most of us, house is an investment for the long run and it is the single most important and large investment of our lifetime! Investing in such a big area is a risky factor and calls for lot of thinking and decision-making process. In fact, house buying in India is also an emotional aspect! Here it needs to be done with utmost care and precaution. Here are some pointers which will help you in making smart and wise decisions:

– Majority of the ground work needs to be done by the person himself. Gather as much information about the location, market conditions etc as possible

– Make the decision based on returns, rentals, your income, future prospects etc. especially if you are buying a house. You need to think of future possibilities also

– Keep an eye on BSE realty index and other such indices

– Talk to as many people as possible – but remember more people, more the opinions. Ultimately, it is you who has to decide!

– Beware of recent market crashes – keep all options open and have a plan B

– Use expert opinions and past trends to calculate return on investment for that house

– Always keep a margin of safety

One of the main advantages of investing in real estate in India is diversification value. Other advantages are yield enhancement, continuous inflation trends, ability to influence performance etc. you can paint the house, re decorate it, fix all problems and hike up the value considerably. The owner plays an important role in contributing towards the value of the house!

You can also think of investing in smaller apartments or duplexes and condominiums. They are comparatively smaller in terms of financial investment and return on investment is usually good! At the same time, pride of ownership is also there.

It totally depends on your knowledge and vision as to how you play with market trends and convert them into money for you! Beware and make sound investments.

For most of us, house investment is the single most important and big investment of our life! Here we want the maximum returns on it. Here are some tips to make a smart investment decision.

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Try Your Luck With Brooklyn Real Estate

There are many companies and agencies that have been operating in real estate in Brooklyn since 2002. The principle in this case, tells everyone to fight for not practicing treason. The principles also guide to follow and focus on customer interest and permanent professionalism and corporate culture and traditions. The observation of these principals many companies under the umbrella managed to become market leaders with a quality service. These companies under the umbrella brand full spectrum buying and selling.

Through years of selling and buying, all companies under the umbrella of successful completion of offers and earned many clients, experience, with a long-term equipment and personnel, the market recognition and won over market competition. The daily work of many new clients and agents led to the comfort zone growing industry. They learn to deal with personal and business buyers. The changes in approach and behavior according to the target as in any other industry. The only thing is that we believe our clients leave one of the most important decisions of his life in us before we need to do proper justice. The hardest part is to govern the customer's mind every time you want to make such a move. They believe in offering the highest level of service possible.

One of the main instruments used are mortgage rate trends, mortgage calculator and investment calculator. They specialize in the sale of Victorian houses, cooperatives, condominiums, investment, rent stone houses and serve as consultants for residential use. Once you become famous that good or bad news but it is difficult to remain hidden. Brooklyn is a convenient place for its proximity to Manhattan and its surroundings. It offers a great opportunity for stay at home. The average price has been reduced in Brooklyn last year. The approximate current award for new development here is 490 US per square foot and the average price is 515000USD. There is also a single housing in certain areas.

There are a number of sites that have been successfully selling Brooklyn for years. In every real estate sees a lot of challenges and the same applies to real estate in Brooklyn. Real estate market is always easy to enter but hard to stay longer with the profits. Real estate market in the world anything goes in the direction of one or the other but the growth of one can be the downfall of others.

One of the main instruments used are mortgage rate trends, mortgage calculator and investment calculator. They specialize in the sale of Victorian houses, cooperatives, condominiums, investment, rent stone houses and serve as consultants for residential use. Once you become famous that good or bad news but it is difficult to remain hidden. Brooklyn is a convenient place for its proximity to Manhattan and its surroundings. It offers a great opportunity for stay at home. The average price has been reduced in Brooklyn last year. The current prize for a new development about here is $ 490 per square foot and the average price is 515000USD. There is also a single housing in certain areas.

There are a number of sites that have been successfully selling Brooklyn for years. In every real estate sees a lot of challenges and the same applies to real estate in Brooklyn. Real estate market is always easy to enter but hard to stay longer with the profits. Real estate market in the world anything goes in the direction of one or the other but the growth of one can be the downfall of others.

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Going Green? Start With a Home Energy Survey

There are signs that the Miami real estate market may be close to the bottom, if it's not already there. It's about time, right? Everyone is looking for a steal.

Maybe that's why, since the beginning of 2011, I have been getting more and more calls on troubled mortgage financing. The most common question asked is about the mortgage options available for REO (real estate owned) properties, most of which have been sitting for some time and have what is called deferred maintenance. My recommendation to these individuals is an Energy Efficient Mortgage or EEM for short (aka Energy Improvement Mortgage). A property that has not had the power turned on for months can be riddled with problems and can benefit from the program features of an Energy Efficient Mortgage. For instance, living in South Florida, the most common issues are related to moisture and mold. One piece of advice I give to a potential client seeking a disturbed property is to get a home energy survey done. A home energy survey is a visual inspection to evaluate the overall energy performance of the house you are looking to purchase. This report will provide you with a great starting point to help determine the amount of the work that would need to be done in order to complete necessary repairs.

Some specific examples of how home energy survey can help you:

–Reduce your energy bill by pinpointing the inefficient and electricity-wasting areas of your home.
–Uncover potential problems prior to any major damage occurring, ie South Florida is notorious for mold which could have been caused by an improper bathroom fan.
–Improve your home's comfort by making your house airtight. Leaving leaky windows / doors unsealed is like throwing money out the window, literally!

Items reviewed in the typical home energy survey include:

Any visual health or safety issues

– Visible signs of moisture
– Condition of appliances
–Heating, cooling, including ventilation and duct work issues

If you are interested in a more complex report, you can also request a building performance audit. This report includes all of the inspections above, but will take it to the next level by use of high tech tools for further diagnosis. If you have been living in your home in Miami for over 10 years and looking to refinance with an Energy Efficient Mortgage and feel that your comfort is not where it used to be, this report may be the ticket to get to the bottom of your problem . Some of the diagnostics used in this process will help you:

–Determine the amount and location of air leakage from your duct work.
–Measure the effectiveness of the insulation within your walls and ceiling.
– Possible combustion safety issues.

I recommend these types of surveys to be completed on older homes ASAP if you're looking to buy, or prior to refinancing your existing mortgage with an Energy Improvement Mortgage. Why, you ask? It's simple. EEMs ​​only allow you to spend a certain dollar amount on renovations and updates, so need to have a plan! You want to spend your renovation monies wisely in order to maximize your home's energy efficiency, comfort, resale value, and marketability, and reduce your carbon footprint.

Ensuring that your home is energy efficient requires that you take the right steps, like those above above. There are no short-cuts. Going green also requires a little bit of time, and of course some money. A home is not just a place to hang your hat, but it is also an investment. By investing in the right energy improvements now with an Energy Improvement Mortgage, you will not only see the benefit in the short term, through lower monthly energy bills, but also in the long term, as you will be able to keep your energy costs down for years to come! Before you know it, these improvements will have paid for themselves!

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Have Bad Credit? How to Use FHA 203k to Purchase Distressed Real Estate

A hot topic here in Miami is distracted real estate. With all of the foreclosures and REO (real estate owned) properties on the market for sale, there are good deals to be had. The FHA 203k loan, sometimes called energy efficient mortgage or EEM for short, is a program that is available to help you purchase a stressed property and rehabilitate with energy-efficient “green” improvements.

It's no secret that many of the foreclosures or REO properties have deferred maintenance. So it's possible the electrical system does not work as it should, the hot water heater could leak, the air conditioner may need to be serviced or replaced with an energy efficient unit. Maybe the paint is dull and needs to be freshened up. All of these updates or repairs (and many more!) Can be added into the cost of your mortgage, making your home more energy efficient and helping you to reduce your carbon footprint. Although there are tight lending guidelines that banks and lenders are required to follow, luckily enough there are still funds available to lend and bring these troubled properties back up to modern living standards with the FHA 203k loan. Even if you have less than perfect credit, FHA is on your side to help make your home ownership dream come true!

FHA loans are flexible when it comes to bad credit. If you have premature credit, FHA can approve a loan based on a single trade line and a single credit score, whereas conventional lending requires no less than two of the three credit scores. FHA is also great for first time home buyers who may have limited funds in the bank. The FHA 203k program allows buyers to put as little as 3.5 percent as a down payment (even though it's a good idea to put down more). Another bonus of FHA is that you may still qualify whether or not you can demonstrate consistent work history over the previous two consecutive years. FHA loans are really forgiving.

Even prospective borrowers with more seriously damaged credit still have hope. Those with judgments, liens, collections, foreclosures or bankruptcies, who are interested in taking advantage of the troubled real estate market may still reach home ownership dreams. Here are some guidelines to follow:

–Collections – Not all collection accounts will be required to be paid prior to closing. Each collection trade line will be reviewed on a case-by-case base. If the collection still shows on your credit report, satisfaction may be requested in order to remove the negative trade lines prior to closing.

–Bankruptcy – Chapter 7 discharge of bankruptcy should be two of more years from loan application and show reestablished credit on all recent trade lines. Chapter 13 must show at least 1 year of payments to the courts after the structure. No late payments are allowed since the bankruptcy started.

– Foreclosure – Foreclosures will not disqualify you from obtaining a FHA loan. However, buyers must typically wait a minimum of three years from the foreclosure date prior to purchasing (possibly less if you have extenuating circumstances and have established good credit).

–Liens – Federal liens are not eligible, such as a tax lien. Liens must be paid off or at minimum, a repayment plan must be established. Federal loans, such as student loans can not be delinquent and must be bought current prior to application.

So, if you have been daydreaming about taking advantage of a good deal in the Miami real estate market, chances are that you might be in a better position than you think. You do not need to be a bench warmer. You can play too!

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Why We Need Solar Systems As Standard Home Options

Solar photovoltaic and solar thermal systems are gaining in popularity, especially in the South West United States where, according to SolarBuzz.Com, growth rates for new solar system installations by 2014 will increase by as much as 10 times that of the market size in 2009 One would think that with such phenomenal growth rates, more home manufacturers, factor built buildings especially, would add solar PV and solar thermal systems as standard options.

So why do not more manufacturers do this since the solar market looks to be taking off? The answer lies primarily in the development cost of associated with providing new options of any kind to consumers. Developing new home options that require complex engineering plans and designs is not cheap. A home builder that wants to add energy efficiency options in to the mix of what they offer consumers can look at having to bankroll a development project for years before they may see any real return on investment. This, primarily, is the reason most installations of solar systems happen on existing homes and not be developers themselves.

Some home builders do offer these systems as options but, quite frankly, these companies are few and far between. We project that as the industry continues to increase in terms of demand, more home builders in the South West will look to add these options in to their regular product offerings to not only meet consumer demand, but also as a new profit center. Why should these systems be offered only after market?

California enterprises almost 50% of all new solar system installations annually. Even though the housing market may be in a downward spiral, new home sales, especially in the manufactured home market, are doing well due mostly to the reduced overall cost as compared to site built homes. While consumers may turn to the factory built variety of homes to save their hard earned dollars, they still want high end options available to them.

Cost savings is one of the driving forces that makes consumers want to invest in solar systems. I predict that home builders that offer homes in the South West United States will begin offering more options to meet people's needs in the solar arena, not because its good to do so necessarily, but more so because of demand and the ability to create a new profit center within existing businesses. Energy efficient home options that include PV and solar thermal systems should be standard options in the near future.

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Energy Efficient Mortgages + Distressed Real Estate = A Match Made in Heaven!

The housing market crash claimed in a surge in foreclosures and bank owned properties, especially in the Miami market. Foreclosures and REO properties are typically considered troubled properties because of deferred maintenance. If you're thinking of buying one of these properties, you should know that these troubled properties will likely need some work, and will seldom be moved in ready. Homeowners in foreclosure often neglect essential upkeep, or worse, may even vandalize / strip their properties down when they learn that the bank is coming in to take over.

According to RealtyTrac, about twenty-five percent of all residential sales for the fourth quarter of 2010 were either REO (real estate owned) or short sales. On average, these homes sold for roughly forty percent less than comparable (non-troubled) homes. The undesirable conditions of these properties make most buyers walk. Given the current depressed economic climate, most homeowners are not eager or able to complete high-end remodeling projects. However, through an energy efficient mortgage (EEM; aka energy improvement mortgage) program, remodeling and renovating can be very affordable, requiring minimal, if any, out of pocket costs. And with the help of an energy efficient mortgage, these troubled properties can be transformed into ideal green homes.

Distressed properties may require simple sustainable projects, like replacing older features or upgrading basic systems to take advantage of energy efficiencies improvements, or more involved projects such as complete kitchen renovation. Maybe the place needs a new roof, new flooring, or has an electric system that is not up to code. EEMs ​​allow the homebuyer to obtain financing to purchase a house in need of such repairs or modernizations, and incorporate the additional funds needed for the rehabilitation into the mortgage. EEMs ​​allow for renovations and sustainable improvements up to $ 45,000, which, when rolled into the mortgage would result in a payment increase in the ballpark of $ 270. * That's much easier to swing than fronting $ 45K !!! This program is perfect for those who are first time home buyers, or for those with limited cash for a down payment / closing costs / renewal expenses.

So, if you want to get a great deal on a house but do not have the money that may be needed to renovate a foreclosed / REO property, think twice before you pass on buying a distracted property. An EEM may be just the solution for you!

* based on a 6% interest rate, 30 year amortization schedule

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